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Should Childminders inform parents about their sickness and when they return to Work?

(74 Posts)
jagcv4 Sat 18-May-13 20:12:43

Hi

I am in an unusual situation with my childminder. She called sick as she was suffering from serious illness, continuously for a few days and then she failed to inform as to when she would be returning to work. So we held our son back until she informed us that she is fit and can provide a risk free environment. Now the childminder is threatening to sue us with payments for all those days. Aren't childminders obligated to advice us about their sickness and when they are fit to take back children under their care? Please advice me with your opinions and any standard documentation will help.

Thanks

Jag

nannynick Sat 18-May-13 20:34:47

Seems a bit odd. Did you check each day if they could take your child, or did they say they would tell you when they were restarting.

Payment for when the service is not available is down to what is in the contract.

Seb101 Sat 18-May-13 21:57:50

I'd refer to your contract- does it state you still have to pay when minder sick? Some childminders charge when they are closed for sickness. If it does, then yes you have to pay her.

As far as her not contacting you when she was re opening for business; sounds odd! Maybe just mis communication. Did she inform you settling would be closed for... Xyz, and then presumed that you'd understand that it would re open after this if she didn't tell you otherwise. If I informed parents I was going to be off sick for 1 week, I would probably presume they'd turn up, business as usual the following week, unless I told them otherwise. Or have I misunderstood your post?!

jagcv4 Sun 19-May-13 18:53:00

Hi thanks for your messages.

The contract states that there is no payment for sick pay. However, the least I expect from my childminder is that a valid notification of return to work. We cannot expect to send our son when the childminder is sick. I don't really understand. When asked, now the childminder is claiming that she need not provide return to work notification. This appears ridiculous and as a parent I do have a right to know that the place I am sending is safe from Health and safety point of view.

Regards

Jag

nannynick Sun 19-May-13 19:27:47

So how will you solve this? Will you pay the invoice minus the days you feel are in dispute, then see what happens? It may get taken to small claims court and the court would make a decision.

NarkyNamechanger Sun 19-May-13 19:35:47

I don't understand - are you expecting to see a doctor's note from her?

KatyMac Sun 19-May-13 19:38:03

I assume she contacted you & said a version of "I can't work today/tomorrow"?

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 19:44:59

I'm not clear either. You mean you didn't send your dc back because she hadn't got a written document saying she could return to work, or do you mean she originally said "I'm not well today, I'll let you know about tomorrow" and then never did ?

ReetPetit Sun 19-May-13 19:48:43

I don't find your posts very clear, sorry...

Do you mean she called in sick and said she was unavailable? If so, and it states in contract that you dont pay for her sickness then you wouldnt have to pay for that day...

I find it odd that she didnt comtact you to tell you when she was better but equally odd that you didnt contact her to ask??

Was she minding others when you decided to keep your ds home? If she was available then im afraid you will have to pay her, are you saying she was infectious and unfit to provide care?

TwoFourSixOhOne Sun 19-May-13 19:50:06

confused

LucyLastik Sun 19-May-13 19:56:00

We had something similar with our CM. she hurt her leg and was unable to walk, drive etc. when she was able to walk without crutches, she did let us know she was available to work but was clear she couldn't drive. She looks after dd2 all day but picks up dd1 and ds from school so driving was required.

In the end we both agreed that as she couldn't collect dc's from school she was unable to provide the service as stated in the contract so we didn't have to pay. In the end DH took 3 weeks off work and did the childcare. We regularly called to (mainly) see how she was recovering and when she would be up to normal service. Did you not think to contact her to see how she was getting on or to see when she would be well enough to resume service?

ReetPetit Sun 19-May-13 20:00:38

How many days/weeks are we talking about here? Seems bizzare that you didnt think to contact her - don't you have work to go to?? She may be trying it on but hard to tell with only part of the story to go on

lechatnoir Sun 19-May-13 20:34:55

From what I gather your cm called off sick one day and this extended for a number of days/weeks & this was unpaid as per your contract. She then called to say she was well enough to look after your child but you didn't send your child back as she couldn't provide a 'fit to work/clear of illness' note from her doctor & it's those additional data off that she wants & is threatening court proceedings to recover.

If this is the case then YABU as you are it her employer and if she reopens for business then you should pay her fees.
If this is not the case then I'm totally lost & have no idea grin

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 23:38:40

Please come back and clarify what happened for us, OP

when our childminder was sick we use tues and fri I hadnt heard from her on the thursday so I text saying hope you are feeling better can you just let us know if you will be well enough to have x tommorow no worries if you cant just need to make other arrangements - she did text back and say she hoped to be well enough , so I replied saying great see you tommorow - and she did say ok and was well enough to have the 2 toddlers albeit a quieter day than normal.

I think she should have text but also as a parent I need to know so as I did text to find out.

But no you shouldnt pay for sick days if it says not in contract.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 15:00:15

Dear all,

Really appreciate all your messages. Apologies for all the delays caused in responding to this post.

Following my initial statement, the CM went to small claims court and filed a case against me for notice period. Though CM, wasn't claiming charges for sickness, but she, as per own accord, cancelled the contract and was now claiming charges for notice period.

I spoke to various agencies including Ofsted, HPA etc. As per guidelines, CM are obligated to provide parents nature of their sickness. If the CM has diarrhoea as in my case, the CM must immediately cease operation and shut down. CM must provide clear notification to parents. They just cannot claim that it is duty of parents to send children as usual after a day of sickness. Parents cannot send their children until and unless they are convinced that their children will be safe from all aspects.

Also, as per the email CM sent, she herself cancelled the contract at her own accord without consulting both the parents

In my response to the court I clearly highlighted these points and showed the problems. It is unfortunate how CM's have been overtaken by greed.

Prior to going to court the mediation service took over and resolved the matter. Eventually I agreed to pay, 1 day fee + court fee+£20. As against £200 they claimed.

I was prepared to go to court and file a counter claim and claim further charges as we had to pay CM alternative to look after the child.

After all this experience, I have, in a way lost faith in CM's. The best care a child can get is from the mother, next is grand parents. My wife chose to leave her job and is now looking after my son.

My son, under CM, was underweight and now has put on 4 kilos of weight and is healthy, clearly indicating ,with child minder's care. For me my child's care is important and I hope CM's take child care seriously and not just treat this as business to cheat innocent parents.

lovelynannytobe Fri 19-Jul-13 15:28:58

Consider yourself lucky you got away with paying so little.

Thurlow Fri 19-Jul-13 15:35:02

I'm sorry you had a rough time, but you really shouldn't be tarring all CM's with the same brush hmm

NomDeClavier Fri 19-Jul-13 15:36:05

I don't think you can generalise all CM's from that hmm

D&V is 48 hours from last episode, she should have informed you after being clear for 24hrs that she would reopen the following day. To do otherwise seems bizarre.

The alleged neglect of your son is a different matter.

I note you don't cite fathers as suitable carets for their own DC there. Interesting, given that you presumably are one.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 15:42:53

Hi

It isn't the case of being lucky or unlucky, it is the case of teaching CM's a lesson to not take parents for granted!! Our kids are everything for us in this world, every penny we spend for child care is to be accounted for. They just can't cheat us. I have also noticed that CM's deliberately withhold child's meals during the day to make further savings and produce false reports saying they have eaten well. This results in child falling weak and loosing weight and health. All those CM's who do this are nothing less than criminals.

I am satisfied with the result and with the news of this spreading within the neighbourhood, none of the parents are now sending children to this CM!

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:07:13

are you saying ALL childminders withold food? Sorry, you're a fruitcase and CM is better off without you.
You really think a cm would withhold food to save a few pence a day?
Like the way you want to ruin her financially as well. I take back my fruitcase comment and replace it with you're a nasty, paranoid, vindictive piece of work.

Thurlow Fri 19-Jul-13 16:09:21

So because you believe that your CM was negligent when looking after your soon, all CM's are negligent? How many CM's have you watched serving meals to children and deliberately withholding food to make more of a profit? If you believe that your CM was so negligent, have you spoken to Ofsted to get her inspected? Or are you satisfying yourself with gossiping to the neighbourhood about this woman when you have no official proof that she was negligent?

I won't ask how, if her care was so clearly negligent, you didn't notice while your son was in her care...

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:09:25

Oh, and CM's are not obliged to inform parents of the nature of teir illness. You think we should go into details of eg. gynaecological issues with the fathers of our mindees. A simple "I'm ill" is all that's needed.

Glad your son is doing well.
However my children are everything to me. My lovely childminder understands this only two well as she has two of her own. The last CM we used was also fantastic. it's not fair to have a bad experience (and I have to say the details are STILL not clear) and then decide all CMs are out to con parents.

Oh and my CM has in th epast called in sick from D&V> I took her word for when she was fit to return, why wouldn't I? hmm

only *too well

<desperately tries to blame phone>

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